The ex-F1 drivers you can see in action at the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona

Henry Valantine
Ex F1 driver Romain Grosjean wearing sunglasses.

Romain Grosjean wearing sunglasses ahead of the IndyCar action.

There is a healthy contingent of former F1 drivers you can keep an eye on in the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend, as a capacity 61-car field takes to the legendary Florida circuit.

It will be the 61st running of the marquee 24-hour race in America this weekend, with almost 200 drivers set to take part across five different classes, with experience from across the world of motorsport.

Among them as ever will be drivers who have graced the F1 grid over time, with Fernando Alonso being a recent previous winner by teaming up with former Formula 1 favourite Kamui Kobayashi, as well as Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande to take victory in 2019.

With a lot of racing to be done at Daytona on 28-29 January, here is a look at which former F1 drivers will be in the field this weekend – representing three of the five classes.

GTP

#1 Cadillac Racing (Chip Ganassi Racing) – Sebastien Bourdais

Former Toro Rosso driver Bourdais will be partnering the aforementioned Van der Zande and legendary six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.

#7 Porsche Penske Motorsport – Felipe Nasr

Nasr took part in two seasons for Sauber during his F1 days in 2015 and ’16, and has enjoyed success in sportscar racing since, winning the IMSA title in DPi in 2021 and in Prototypes in 2018. He partners Matt Campbell and Michael Christensen in the Porsche 963.

#10 Wayne Taylor Racing – Brendon Hartley

Hartley is a three-time World Endurance champion and three-time Le Mans winner, with the 2017 and ’18 seasons spent at Toro Rosso. He is in a four-driver team driving an Acura ARX-06 with Louis Deletraz, Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor.

#31 Action Express Racing – Jack Aitken

One-time F1 starter Aitken, who filled in for George Russell at Williams when he took Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes seat at Sakhir in 2020, will drive the Cadillac V-LMDh challenger with Alexander Sims and Pipo Derani.

LMP2

#04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR – Esteban Gutierrez

Gutierrez, who spent three years at Sauber in the mid-2010s, made the move into endurance racing last year in LMP2 cars, and will set about a quest for glory in this category in a four-driver team alongside Ben Hanley, Mat McMurry and George Kurtz.

#35 TDS Racing – Giedo van der Garde

Now combining punditry alongside his racing efforts, former Caterham driver Van der Garde has a wealth of experience at LMP2 level, winning the ELMS title in 2016. He will race with Dutch compatriot Job van Uitert, as well as Francois Heriau and Josh Pierson.

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#51 Rick Ware Racing – Pietro Fittipaldi

Fittipaldi is marked as a ‘former’ driver for now as he is without a full-time F1 seat, but still serves as Haas reserve driver after a pair of starts as Romain Grosjean’s injury replacement at the end of 2020. He will pilot the #51 LMP2 car with Eric Lux, Devlin DeFrancesco and Austin Cindric.

#55 Proton Competition – Gianmaria Bruni

‘Gimmi’ Bruni has been a long-time mainstay in endurance racing after his sole F1 season for Minardi in 2004, but has mostly raced at GT level (a four-time class winner at Le Mans and three-time WEC champion, no less) before making a step up to LMP2 with Proton at Daytona, prior to his new Hypercar drive with them this season. He partners Fred Poordad, Francesco Pizzi and Aussie racer James Allen.

GT Daytona Pro

#53 MDK Motorsports – Jan Magnussen

We were due to have a current F1 driver in the field and a father/son duo with both Kevin and Jan Magnussen at MDK Motorsports. But alas, Kevin’s hand surgery ruled him out of Daytona and one Magnussen will have to suffice, himself with 24 F1 starts to his name for McLaren and Stewart. Jan will race alongside Mark Kvamme, Jason Hart and Trenton Estep in a Porsche 911 GT3 R.

#63 Iron Lynx – Romain Grosjean

In preparation for his factory Lamborghini Hypercar drive in 2024, Romain Grosjean will be in Lambo’s Huracan GT3 Evo2 at Daytona as he meets his future team. The 10-time F1 podium scorer will be driving with Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper this weekend.